tv This Week With Christiane Amanpour ABC December 11, 2011 10:00am-11:00am EST
this week -- the fighting front-runner. newt gingrich, target of the night at the abc news debate in iowa, taking hits. >> we need people from outside washington, outside k street. >> and returning fire. >> the only reason you didn't become a career politician is you lost to teddy kennedy in 1994. >> under pressure, romney wages big. >> rick, i tell you what, 10,000 bucks. $10,000 bet. >> but will his gamble backfire? and did michele bachmann outplank the front-runners with her conservative attack. >> newt romney, they were for obama care principals. newt romney. newt romney. >> also, rick perry gets
personal. >> if you cheat on your wife, you'll cheat on your business partners. >> the abc news debate. a turning point in this roller-coaster campaign. this morning, complete coverage and our moderators, george stephanopoulos and diane sawyer. reaction from jon huntsman, the other republican in the race. our abc news political team is standing by in iowa to break down the spin. and our roundtable is standing by with the long view of this unpredictable race. good morning, and welcome to the program. we'll have all of the highlights of last night's showdown in the hawkeye state. but some news from your morning papers. iran has announced that it won't return the american surveillance drone now in the hands of the country's military. the top commander of the revolutionary guard
called the drone into iranian air space a hostile act and warned of a bigger response if it happens again. the spy plane was put on display earlier this week and it's considered a trove of sensitive information. in russia, this morning, another day of unprecedented protests against prime minister vladimir putin who wants to become president again. tens of thousands took to the streets yesterday, and today crowds numbered in the hundreds. these are the largest demonstrations in the post-soviet era. as russians rally against voter fraud and call for putin to step down. and here in the united states, all eyes are on iowa, where six republican presidential candidates did battle in the abc news debate last night. the showdown was the clear highlight of "this week in politics." and of course, our man jon karl was there. to take us through the highs and the lows. >> reporter: newt gingrich said that he would stay positive. but when mitt romney said that
he was a career politician -- gingrich couldn't resist. >> let's be candid. the only reason you didn't become a career politician is you lost to teddy kennedy in 1994. >> now, wait a second. wait a second. >> gingrich took fire from everyone on the stage. >> if you look at newt romney, they were for the $700 billion bailout. you just heard newt romney is also with obama on the issue of the payroll extensions. >> he and i, we're not clones. i promise. that is not the case. >> reporter: the oddest moment of the day. >> you were for individual mandates of the moment. >> you have said that before, rick. $10,000 bet. >> i'm not in a betting business. >> reporter: who bets $10,000? even before the debate, this was the week that gingrich became target number one.
there was ron paul's blistering attack of accusing newt of serial hypocrisy. from the romney superpac. >> flip flopping on issues. >> reporter: and from romney myself. >> i have been married to the same woman for 42 years. >> reporter: a not subtle remainder that gingrich is the guy who has been married three times. in iowa, it comes down to the ground game. how is that looking? if you want evidence that romney isn't taking off here in iowa, his iowa state headquarters, they won't let us in. but looking in, there's nothing doing. over at gingrich headquarters we found them still setting up. where's the energy? with ron paul. his office is smaller but buzzing with activity. as for president obama, he took a populous turn with a speech in kansas. >> it's great to be back in the
state of texas -- uh-oh. state of kansas. >> reporter: he was at no loss of words however when asked to respond to republicans who said that he appeases american enemies. >> consistently engages in appeasement. >> appeasement strategy. >> ask osama bin laden and the 22 out of 30 top al qaeda leaders who have been taken off the field whether i engage in appeasement. trending, newt up. he's peaking at just the right time. donald trump, down, he offers to host a debate in iowa and almost all of the candidates turn him down. rick perry, down. another oops. who was that supreme court justice? >> uh, not sotomayor. >> sotomayor. >> sotomayor. >> bachmann, up. the debate, her best day since the ames straw poll.
>> and those hoping for newt gingrich to implode last night, were sorely disappointed. christiane, he emerged unscathed. >> jon, thanks. we'll be back with us in a moment. we'll talk more about all of this. right now, let's bring in the moderators of last night's debate. diane sawyer and george stephanopoulos. good to see you both this morning. diane, viewers were really expecting a rumble, how do you think it stacked up in the fisticuffs department. >> i think they came to engaged. and they knew with 23 days to go. as jon was saying it was gingrich who was in the testing zone last night. george told me that the dnc this morning, have already decided to target him. which means they think he survived it and survived it well. >> the first time they have done that. they're out now there trying to define him as they were before with mitt romney.
he has a legitimate shot at being the nominee. >> the big question, how was mitt romney going to deal with the front-runner newt gingrich who has stormed by him. george, you opened the door a little bit for him. let's hear and watch how he handled it. >> speaker gingrich crystallized his argument, he said i quote, i'm a lot more conservative than romney and lot more electable than anyone else. >> of course, i don't agree with that. i don't think most people agree with that. we have a lot of places where we disagree, let's see, we can start with his idea to have a lunar colony that will mine minerals from the moon. i'm not in favor of spending that kind of money to do that. he said that he would like to eliminate in some cases the child labor laws so that the kids could clean schools, i don't agree with that. his plan on capital gains.
to remove capital gains for people at the very highest level of income is different than mine. i would eliminate capital gains for people in the middle income. we have differences on some issues. but the real difference, i believe, is our backgrounds. i spent my life in the private sector. >> i'm proud of trying to find things to give young people a tron study science and math and technology. and telling them some day in their lifetime they could dream of going to the moon and mars. young people need to learn how to work. we should give poor kids the same opportunity to pursue happiness. >> so, george, how do you think mitt romney measured up in this sort of aggressive tactics that people talked about? how did they both measure up against each other? >> well, i got to say that i was little surprised right there at the top. i thought that governor romney wasn't going to hesitate at all in trying to draw these distinctions between himself and newt gingrich.
his team had been telegraphing the last week or so, that he was ready to take on the front-runner with the momentum, he seemed to be struck between trying to draw the differences, also be the grown-up, sober, likable guy on the stage and so he finally did lay out those differences, but that led to that pretty devastating comeback by speaker gingrich. you would been a career politician if you hadn't lost to ted kennedy back in 1994. overall, i think that, you know, gingrich, clearly, because this was the first time that he was in hot seat as the front-runner, handled himself very well. no attacks last night drew some blood. overall, i think mitt romney actually had a pretty decent debate. engaged with gingrich on this whole area of whether palestinians are invented people. we were talking about this, the moment that certain going to remember out of this debate is that $10,000 bet. interesting to see how that
romney team handles that. >> and just a small moment, you know, i could see speaker gingrich looking down and making his notes during governor romney's first adversial challenge to him. he had apparently on the podium note from his grandkids. the first one said smile and the second one said keep it short. >> that was the most important thing for speaker gingrich last night. he knew that everyone was going to be watching to see if he would blow his top, lose his cool, that did not happen last night. another reason why he had such a strong debate. during one of the commercial breaks, he came up and talked to diane and me. he was making fun of us. if you better prepared you wouldn't be doing your home work during commercial breaks. he said, what was most interesting, he said, i think everyone is having a good debate, a solid debate tonight. the fact that he could pull back and get back to that statesman
feeling again, i think, really helped him. >> you could actually see, as you mentioned, you could see a lot of wings, nods and smiles. particularly at you two, as well. let me ask you, diane, about michele bachmann, because she came out pretty powerfully, her whole newt romney mantra was quite interesting. do you think, you know, there are so few people that could emerge victorious from iowa, did she do what she has to do? >> as you know, she stays concerted. she stays on her point and she stays pretty fearless in these debates. i was struck actually by something else, on the question of the payroll tax cut, which, if it lapses would ensure most american working families have to pay an extra $1,000 in taxes but she's in favor of letting it lapse. because she says it doesn't work. it blows a whole in social
security. instead of breaking away from that, she came right into it and defended her position, as something that's untenable in these economic times. we're used to the long-winded approach. instead she went straight to -- >> what was interesting, she tried to try those for the extension, romney and gingrich and ron paul, as allies of president obama. which in the republican primary is ultimately the kiss of death. >> do you think, george, that anyone can say, mission accomplished? we have seen the polls. we know that gingrich is ahead of mitt romney. romney and ron paul in a tie. but about two-thirds according to a "new york times" poll, those who plan to attend the iowa caucus say they still haven't de up their minds. >> from last night, no question, that gingrich had mission accomplished. he has one more debate. between now and the iowa caucuses. 23 days to go, as diane said. nothing happened last night that would stop his momentum. nothing that we saw right now, i
think he also effectively handled the question that's on the minds of iowa voters, is the question of his marriage. the way he talked about redemption, i think that helped him last night. michele bachmann, i think she accomplished what. and no one, i guess with the exception of romney, we'll have to see how this bet plays out. i think really hurt themselves. we'll have to see whether of the three, bachmann, santorum or perry, which one of them really starts to galvanize the conservative support to jump into that top tier? >> again, ron paul is there. >> he's steady. >> diane, for you, what was the take-away, the most revealing moment for you? >> the vitality on the stage. we said at the beginning the marathon run that it is to run for president.
but i have to tell you, they have great immune systems. someone is coughing into the debate. because they came out they have been on the trial trail for a long time. i think you can't always experience on television just the sheer physical vitality of all of these candidates. >> there was a lot of energy in the room last night. i think both diane and i were surprised, it must have felt differently on television than in the room on how that whole bet exchange took off online. in some ways, governor romney was so aggressive with it. it seemed like it might have been a strong moment. but, boy, that $10,000 online really popped. >> thank you very much indeed. see you all later. and up next, the man who wasn't there, jon huntsman joins us next from manchester, new hampshire, where he's gunning to be the real comeback kid of 2012. hampshire, where he's gunning to
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six candidates faced off in des moines last night. but jon huntsman wasn't one of them. the former utah governor, who entered this campaign with enormous fanfare. has failed to qualify for a spot on the debate stage. iowa isn't part of the huntsman strategy, he has put all of his fighting power into new hampshire. and he joins this morning from manchester. governor, thank you for joining us. let me quickly ask you, who do you think won on the stage last night? >> well, christiane, thank you for having me, first and foremost. i think, with respect to last night, all i can say, with all due to respect to your terrific network was, i was delighted to be here in new hampshire having a town hall meeting. we four town hall meetings today.
we have a debate with newt gingrich on monday. this is a state that is incredibly important for us. on the debate stage last night, the most important issue of all confronting the american people wasn't even touched upon the deficit of trust we have in the united states. in fact, it played right into the trust deficit. nobody trusts congress anymore. we need term limits in congress. we need to close the evolving door that allows members of congress to move right into the lobbying profession. no one has trust toward the executive branch. no one trusts wall street, with banks that are too big to fail. issues that are most salient in our political dialogue today weren't touched upon last night. >> how do you explain the phenomenal rise of newt gingrich? you say people don't have trust, and yet, he seems to be speaking at least to republican voters in a way that you aren't, for instance. >> well, listen, there have been so many ups and downs in this
race, i'm getting whiplashed quite frankly. we have had six front-runners in the span of six months. having spent a whole lot of time in new hampshire, we have had 116 public events in this state. the voters will begin to coalesce around a candidate about a week to ten days out. all i can say, christiane, the two messages that we're delivering to the people here on the ground, the economic deficit which is the cancer mestatisizing in this country and one is a national security problem and the trust deficit the two biggest issues that we face today. they're signing up after the town hall meetings. they're taking lawn signs home. i feel very good about their trajectory here in this great state. this state upends conventional wisdom. >> but people are trying to figure out how you're going to
really break out, because you're at the bottom of the pack, despite the fact that some independents, in new hampshire call you the sanest one running. our george will has said that you deserve a second look from conservatives. "new york times" calls you the most electable conservative remaining in the race. and yet, as i say, what your offering doesn't seem to be resonating. whereas the newt gingrich, in your face against obama is what's resonating. >> christiane, we're doing better in new hampshire than half of those people on that stage last night. if you look at the polls. we're going nowhere but up. our messages are working. people want to know if they're going to have a president who's going to call for term limits for congress. take on banks that are too big to fail. it doesn't matter if we fix
taxes or create a more streamline regulatory environment, a guarantee by the taxpayers, we're setting up ourselves for disaster. we have moved from zero to double digits. in the weeks ahead, i do believe that we're going to move up right toward the top of the pack. understanding full well that people don't make decisions until days out in this case january 10th. i like our position. they want an honest, honorable, trust-worthy person in this race. they want someone whose core they can trust going forward. we're putting ourselves forward as that person. and i like our position. >> i want to put up a graphic, because, again, talking about new hampshire, you're back in fourth place. given how important new hampshire is to you staying in the race, tell me, honestly, where you have to come in order to stay in the race? >> we have to beat market expectations, christiane. >> where is that, second or
third? >> i'm not going to play the numbers game. but we're going to be right up toward the top. we have done nothing but climb in every poll since we entered this market and our message is connecting with people. i can feel it on the ground. i have a very good visceral sense of where this campaign is going. we're going to surprise and upend conventional wisdom. i can tell you that right now. >> all right, let me ask you where the campaign is going. i read a few comments including one who called you the sanest one still running. it appears that you're reversing some of your positions. on climate change, in august, you tweeted i believe in evolution, i trust scientists on global warming. call me crazy. you have been jabbing at the base. last week, you rolled that bit back on climate change. you sort of said that there
isn't enough science, so what are you doing? >> christiane, i'm not changing at all. i have said all along that i put my faith and trust in science. when you have 99 out of 100 climate scientists, they have weighed in on a body of research on the subject matter. i say that's where i put my trust. 1% of scientists who still are questioning some of those assumptions and that debate will continue. but, as for me, let me make it crystal clear, i'm on the side of science in this debate. i think this is a discussion that needs to be taken out of the political lane and kept in the science lane. >> one more question, you have said that you will endorse and support whoever's the nominee, if it is newt gingrich, will he get your endorsement? >> well, listen, i don't have to worry about that, because we're moving up in this great state of new hampshire, we're going to be
the nominee, and i don't have to worry about anything beyond that. >> jon huntsman, thank you very much for joining us. >> thank you, christiane. and up next, the debate moment that sent the twitter-verse on fire. our abc correspondents on the ground in des moines, how they're responding to mitt romney's big bet. how they're responding to mitt romney's big bet. e hardest trann as you get further into the military is... you know it's going to end one day. chase hired me to be a personal banker. i'm a business analyst... manager. i'm very proud to work for chase. when you hire a veteran, you get... great leadership... decisiveness... focus. chase knows, when you hire a veteran, you're hiring america's best. chase is proud to help 100,000 veterans find jobs at home.
fin lab, a social tv analytical team, they found these animations powered by blue fin lab. look at all of the tweets about the debate. some 236,000 of them. which candidate got the most mentions? mitt romney, with 25%. and it was largely brought on by this moment. watch. >> you know, i'm just saying. you were for individual mandates, my friend. >> you know what, you have raised that before, rick -- i'll tell you what, 10,000 bucks. $10,000 bet. >> i'm not in the betting business. but i'll -- >> okay, okay. >> that moment triggered a tweet frenzy. this graph shows the volume of debate commentary on twitter, you can see the spike in yellow when romney made that bet. the fix commented, i bet you 10,000 romney would like to take back that line right about now.
and you can see how that was retweeted far and wide. and so that's thousand romney bet reverberate online. but how, did it play in the debate hold and more importantly, how will it play on the campaign trail? i want to bring in our abc news team in des moines. jake tapper, senior political correspondent jon karl and the intrepid john berman. john berman, first, i bet that is the moment that mitt romney and his team want to take bet, i assume. how is it playing in the spin room? >> well, this morning, the romney campaign is claiming to me that it wasn't a gaffe. they're saying number one, mitt romney was right. on the fact that he would probably have won that bet. rick perry was misquoting romney's comments in his book. the second spin that the romney campaign is giving me, it's only the democrats who are making a big deal out of this 10,000 bet. it just proves so says the romney campaign that the
democrats are obsessed with the mitt romney and it proves that romney is the most electable candidate. it may be a tough sale. it may not be a good thing that mitt romney was engaging with rick perry in the first place there. it brings mitt romney down a little bit. >> it's a good thing. jake, is that right? is it just the democrats or other republicans who are now trying to capitalize on it? do you think too much attention being paid to that bet comment? >> well, probably in the scheme of all that matters of import that were debated last night, it's probably getting a little bit more than its fair share of attention. but i agree with the romney campaign's argument that the democrats are the most focused on him. because, they consider him the biggest threat to the re-election of president obama. there's no question about that fact. the democrats put out a web video today, attacking newt
gingrich, but the only problem is, it basically -- it calls gingrich a three decades of tea party politics. it's basically an ad that could help gingrich in the republican primary. i could have been produced by newt gingrich. the argument, of course, they would rather -- democrats would rather face newt gingrich than face mitt romney. i think that's a valiant argument. one thing about the 10,000 bet. i should fully disclose, one time i was interview the chairman of the democratic congressional campaign committee before the 2010 elections, he said that the democrats were going to hold the house. i too offered a 10,000 bet to him, he did not take it. i knew what was going through mitt romney's head. >> you would have won the bet. >> i would have won the bet. my point was, i knew that i was right. put $10,000 on the line. i think romney was trying to do. obviously, it doesn't --
>> it's a rhetorical flourish, so to speak, in the betting world. jon, the spotlight of course was on newt gingrich, everyone wants to know, can he keep his cool, is he going to say something strange? is he going to, you know, lose it? how did he stack up last night? >> well, the first thing, he didn't bet anybody $10,000. look -- >> he has it, though. >> especially after all of those messages. the thing that newt gingrich has going for him here, in the debates last night, he looked like the one that was the steadiest. i mean, look, romney needs to have his boot to gingrich's throat. he needs to show that gingrich isn't temperamentally fit to be president. but gingrich was the most steady. the most measured. >> christiane, there's a lot to attack about the gingrich record.
i think even the gingrich people would acknowledge that. but, the attack that romney leveled against him yesterday, was really poorly done. he could have gone after him on any number of policy issues including gingrich's assailing of the paul ryan plan for medicare. but instead he just recited a litany, a list and gingrich just shot them down one after another. i think gingrich did himself a lot of good. with that said, when i went back out to my car after the debate, this was on my windshield. this is an attack flyer. of what gingrich will face over the next 23 days here in iowa. below the radar attack of what he's ever done. >> that's kind of been going on since he zoomed to the front-runner. let's play another striking moment from the debate. sort of the elephant in the room. >> do you think a candidate that breaks his marital vows will break faith in american voters? >> if you will cheat on your wife if you will cheat on your
spouse, why wouldn't you cheat on your business partner or anybody for that matter? >> i think character issues do count. i think all of your record, personal as well as political record, is there for the public to look at. i would not say it's a disqualifier. i wouldn't go that far. >> i think people have to render judgment. in my case, i have said up front, openly, i have made mistakes at time. i have had to god for forgiveness. i have had to seek reconciliation. but i'm also a 68-year-old grandfather. i think people have to measure who i am now and whether i'm a person they can trust. >> john, obviously, newt gingrich was prepared for that. do you he diffused the issue? and can you all help me understand, how, in a state that's socially conservative, people seem to be rallying around a candidate with these kind of issues? john? >> it was an uncomfortable moment when they were going down
the line, all talking about marital infidelity. secretly and not so secretly, i think newt was thrilled it was happened. i was been asked and answered. he had a very smooth response. i think he looked dig any fied. this was a very strong moment, i think, for newt gingrich. i think that the social conservatives here in iowa who might care about, already do care about it or they have decided they just don't. they're looking at all of the candidates. they're making the decision based on a number of different things. these debates they seem to be looking at this than any other. they might be willing to look beyond this other issue. >> jon karl, probably the only one who sort of made gingrich really squirm a little bit was ron paul, particularly when he talked about the money and this and that. he had a strong night on that stage. he has the money and the organization, could he pull off an upset? ron paul?
>> yes. ron paul can win in iowa. look, ron paul is the campaign here in the iowa that has the most energy. you saw it, you know, in my opening piece, i went to all of the campaign headquarters. the only one buzzing with activity is ron paul's. when you see the events that are happening out here, you're not seeing big crowds at romney's events or at gingrich's events. but you're seeing huge crowds for ron paul's. >> and there was a key piece of spin from the romney campaign at the debate last night, they went out of their way to say that ron paul had a great night. it seems as if they're saying as if, it's not going well for us it better not be newt gingrich, better be ron paul. >> but there is a ceiling. ron paul has a very energized, roughly 20% of the republican base. after that, it's not just the
other 80% don't like him that much, they disagree with him. he's a pure consistent libertarian. >> but that 20% is going to show up in the caucuses. >> absolutely. >> there could be a blizzard. >> and mitt romney will be driving them to the polls. >> again, according to the "new york times," two-thirds of those who say they're going to go to the iowa caucuses have said they haven't made up their minds. >> two social conservatives, rick perry and michele bachmann did they break out? >> i think they both had decent nights. particularly with michele bachmann. this is a state where in the past she can garner support. the question for them, over the next 23 days, can they have been seen as credible? if their support starts to rise or if a poll that comes out that indicates either perry or bachmann is rising in the polls could be a contender. the support here for gingrich at
least according to the iowans, which i have spoken with, they like him. they like his ideas. they don't like his personal life. they don't like the baggage that comes with it. or the luggage that he brings with him as one iowan put it. that could ultimately undercut him. >> all right, gentlemen, thank you very much indeed for joining us. and up next -- what made mitt romney declare that he's not a bomb thrower, the most fiery exchange of last night's debate is coming up next and george will and the roundtable are here to discuss the debate -- campaign endgame with iowa caucuses just 23 days away. s just 23 days away. on in years. all because so many people wanted to visit us... in louisiana. they came to see us in florida... nice try, they came to hang out with us in alabama... once folks heard mississippi had the welcome sign out, they couldn't wait to get here. this year was great but next year's gonna be even better.
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the iowa caucuses are just around the corner. closer, still, christmas, a time where the political world goes into hiber nation. let's bring in our roundtable. george will, republican strategist leslie sanchez. donna brazile and kathie obradovich. did last night change the dine nick in the race? >> it reinforced it in that we have a solid front-runner in newt gingrich. it comes down to this right now with the clock ticking and as you say, favoring newt gingrich, he was a shooting star in this town, the most prominent republican from 1994 to 1998 to that point he was the most disliked politician in america. probably, he was deposed by his own party. mitt romney said that he's the most electable. i refer people to the weekly standard today, that says mitt
romney has been in 22 contested elections, not counting caucuses, primaries and general elections, he's won five and lost 17. >> and yet, you george have been saying that they should give a jon huntsman a serious, second look, you're not happy that gingrich is as you say now is the solid front-runner. >> i don't have a dog in this fight. i have a wife in this fight. i do think that, in fact, if the clock allows enough time and the republican rules have been changed to stretch this out, people are going to have to say we may need a third candidate. >> let me ask you, donna, what do you think mitt romney is thinking this morning? after last night's performance. >> he had a silver foot in his mouth moment with that wager. after making that comment
months ago about payroll tax cuts as a band-aid. mitt romney's problem is mitt romney doesn't know how to transition himself from a general election strategy where he was focused on president obama, to trying to appeal to the so-called self-identified christian conservatives in the state of iowa. his other problem, of course, he doesn't have a big organization on the ground. he's trying to play catch-up. because his goal is not to come in fourth place. ron paul has an organization. and george and i were talking in the green room, if there's a foot of snow and you have to get your people to the 1600 precinct, guess what, ron paul will have a driver to bring you to those precincts. >> kathie, what donna just said, do all of the indicators favor ron paul in iowa right now? >> ron paul has a very strong campaign in iowa.
you have to remember that he has the experience of having come in, in fifth place in iowa caucuses four years ago, his campaign never really went away, he kept a presence in the state for these last four years, he had key people on the republican state committee. ron paul has energized new caucus goers. he energizes young caucus goers. now typically those are not the most reliable people to go to the caucuses. you want people who are veteran of the caucuses, 65-plus is usually the demographic that you want. but ron paul has an unique ability not only to energize those people but inspire a lot of loyalty. he's in a very good place. i won't discount, though, mitt romney's organization, he has an experienced crew. he has been working on his organization. >> let me ask you about responding to donna, invoking anne richards,
what he said about george bush, silver foot in his mouth, that bet, how is that going to play in iowa? >> i think that mitt romney made a mistake there, because it was a false note, it's an indicator to people that he's not quite like us, the average median income in iowa is less than $50,000 a year. so, a bet like that -- even though it was an off the cuff sting, it's one of those little false notes. and because mitt romney hasn't been here, campaigned here in person, he's not made a personal connection with the iowans. that matters. >> leslie, newt gingrich, solid front-runner, good for your party? does he have the organization to turn into a win in iowa? >> the organization, lot of people would say it's not there. the question is, does he still have the passion in those early voters? we don't know. still that soft level support?
if you go back to the newt gingrich in the 1990s, the only true revolutionary that's what he harkened to. he took on bill clinton at the height of his popularity. he had welfare reform three times to do it. telecommunications, he battled on. truth in sentencing. there were a lot of things and markers and milestones that he's using now that to say that he's the revolutionary candidate. >> do you think that despite their records of winning and losing, mitt romney and newt gingrich, that gingrich might not be as electable against oba obama in the general election? >> there's a strong possibility that he'll do the foot in mouth disease that we see with other contenders. it's a long road to get to next november. he speaks his mind. it's not so eloquent. and sometimes it's a very abrasive tone. >> mitt romney has another problem, he might be in a position where dick gephardt,
where howard dean came in and surged to the top in 1994. he raised his own well doing it, john kerry went up right the middle. your third candidate. >> talking about some of the things that newt gingrich said, we're all focusing because he's the front-runner, we want to know how this plays out. he says some pretty alarming things. he said this week that palestinians were invented people. it came up last night in the debate. let's listen. >> do you agree with that characterization that palestinians are invented people? >> no. i don't agree with that. i think that's stirring up problems. >> is what i said historically true? yes. somebody should have the courage to tell the truth. these people are terrorists. they teach terrorism in their schools.
someone has to stand up and say, enough lying with the middle east. >> i agree with most of what the speaker said. except saying that palestinians are invented people. i think that's a mistake on the speaker's part. i don't think we want to -- maybe not. >> no, he didn't want to take it back. he ratcheted it up. he doubled down and he called the whole palestinian people terrorists. so do you think, that this is going to be a problem for him as he goes forward? these kind of statements. look, he's out of step not only with the israeli leadership the u.s. leadership, but everyone on this issue? >> there is a difference. that said, i'm not sure this will hurt him, what all people take away from that, he's read his history and that's fine. it reinforces his position. >> no, it's pandering.
it's pandering. more of a third of the caucus goers are christian evangelicals. they're very supportive of israel. newt gingrich understands while historically, maybe incorrect diplomatically, this is about pandering to that base. >> it's historically incorrect. because, way in the 1800s, they were called the palestinians. the point is, that kind of brashness, that kind of conviction, is playing, is playing, isn't that a worry, for instance, for your party? >> if newt gingrich didn't have 35 years of both carry-on luggage as well as stored luggage, he was remorseful last night. i think he did a good job. look i'm catholic. i believe in forgiveness. i won't render judgment. he showed that last night, if you can take a punch, you can give a punch. but he brings a lot of baggage. the republicans want someone who is not able to articulate their anger but beat president obama
and newt gingrich can't beat president obama. >> michele bachmann had a strong night. she did the whole newt romney mantra, she's trying to play to the social conservatives, is it too late for her comeback? >> michele bachmann can come back, but she needs some pretty extraordinary things to happen in the next few weeks, she basically has to really unite the religious conservatives, that means that she's got to knock out rick perry, rick santorum who has spent more time in iowa than anyone else. she has to convince the religious congress conservatives that newt gingrich is not the guy. in fact, gingrich is drawing substantial support from religious conservatives. but there -- he has enemies. the samsonnite, the luggage, the baggage, those kind of things don't play well with
certain evangelical groups that would like to promote someone else. the problem is, those groups along with religious conservatives can't decide who they like better. so in the absence -- if michele bachmann is that person, she could do well. she hasn't done it so far. >> all of this demonstrates some of the interesting wrinkles out there, you tacked about how the evangelicals they want to defend israel, that damages ron paul who doesn't want to defend anyone. according to federal election commission, ron paul got more contributions from active duty military than the other republican candidates combined. >> well, look, ron paul won one southern county in the 2008 caucuses. 119,000 people showed up. if ron paul can enlarge the caucus electorate, that can be
the x factor that night. >> we know that ron paul's caucus goers aren't going to be dissuaded in terms of other candidates. i want to go back to bachmann. but tying herself to cain so transparentally did not help her. >> is jon huntsman going to do well in new hampshire? >> it's going to be hard. the iowa results are going to be interesting in momentum. >> bachmann needs to come in fourth place. she doesn't have to win. >> this conversation will continue in the green room. we'll have that of course on abcnews.com/thisweek. and coming up next -- the sunday funnies and a look at what you can expect next week in politics. don't let the epa turn the lights off
costing jobs, even spiking rates for consumers and businesses - if implemented too fast. twenty-five states, organized labor, manufacturers and businesses are seeking time for power plants to comply with this expensive rule. tell president obama - america needs more time to get the job done right, not more lost jobs. and now, the sunday funnies. they say that newt is a tremendous negotiator, a tremendous debater, of course he's got three ex-wives. >> herman cain defended his -- herman cain suspended his campaign. that is a shame. he touched so many people. a reporter for fox news said that he saw the new muppet movie and he found it to be left-wing communist propaganda, i think he may have a point. >> well, all righty!
♪ >> animal. >> yeah? >> it's stalin's drumstick. and now for a look at what's on tap next week in politics. mitt romney heads back to new hampshire today. stumping there all week to try to hold on to his lead in the first in the nation primary. on monday, jon huntsman steps into newt gingrich's front-runner spotlight joining him for a lincoln/douglas-style debate. in manchester. ricky perry kicks off a multiday iowa bus tour on monday. and on thursday, all of the gop candidates meet again for a fox news debate in sioux city. in memoriam is next. we'll be right back. city. in memoriam is next.
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and now, in memoriam. >> i'm the friendly neighborhood cop. >> well, that's like being lord mayor. everybody brings his troubles to you. >> i noticed that. >> in most cases, all you can do is listen. sophie, this ain't easy for me to tell you, but i can't take you home with me. i sure will miss you. and i have a feeling you'll miss me, too, won't you? ♪ i'm in with the in crowd ♪ i go where the in crowd goes ♪ i wanna get lost in your rock 'n roll and drift away ♪
and we remember all of those who died in war this week. the pentagon released the names of four soldiers killed in afghanistan. four soldiers killed in afghanistan. we'll be right back. we'll be right back. i joined the navy when i was nineteen. i spent four years in the military and i served a tour in iraq. all the skills that i learned in the military
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